Institute for Learning (or Leaving?!)

EducationState doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry about Ed Balls-Up’s new money-wasting, bureaucratic-ridden, job-for-the-boys initiative described below:

Ed Balls-Up!

“Over 2,000 teachers and trainers have registered as members of the Institute for Learning (IfL) since its new website and online registration facility went live on Saturday 1 September 2007, increasing the professional body’s membership to nearly 5,000.

In line with new regulations that came into force at the beginning of September, all FE college teachers have to register as members of IfL, undertake at least 30 hours’ continuing professional development (CPD) each year and abide by a code of professional practice. These regulations form part of the Government’s wider FE workforce reforms, which collectively support the National Improvement Strategy for FE designed to create a qualified workforce with a sustainable culture of professionalism.

Lee Davies, operations manager at IfL, said, “We are delighted that our new website and online registration went live successfully, on the target date, and that so many teachers took advantage of the new facility to register as members over the weekend.

“There has been widespread support for professionalising the FE workforce, and we welcome the Government’s decision to invest by meeting the full costs of registration with IfL,” said Mr Davies. “Teachers have a seven-month window in which to register, which means that existing teachers need to register by 31 March 2008.

“In the meantime, we are raising awareness of the importance of CPD and will shortly launch a suite of online tools to support teachers as they reflect on their professional practice and prepare personalised development plans. We are working closely with Lifelong Learning UK and other partner agencies to raise the status of teaching practitioners across the sector, and are very encouraged by the support we’ve received so far from teachers, employers and other stakeholders.”

The Institute for Learning (IfL) was formed in 2002 and is the professional body for teachers, trainers and student teachers in the learning and skills sector, including adult and community and learning, emergency and public services, further education colleges, Ministry of Defence and the armed services, the voluntary sector and work-based learning.

Much of IfL’s work will be guided by two sets of regulations that came into force on 1 September 2007:
> Revised teaching qualifications, including the introduction of licensed practitioner status and differentiation between full and associate teachers

> Remaining in good standing as a teaching professional, including mandatory continuing professional development (CPD) for all teachers.

Under the regulations, all FE college teachers are required to register as members of IfL, undertake CPD each year and abide by the IfL code of professional practice. The regulations are supported by contractual requirements for LSC-funded provision, which will ensure that the scope of the regulations will cover all teachers in the sector.

Teachers new to the sector from September 2007 are additionally required to become licensed practitioners and achieve Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status or Associate Teacher Learning and Skills (ATLS) status. Although not mandatory for them, existing teachers are also encouraged to become licensed practitioners, as this becomes the future benchmark for the sector.

As a key partner in delivering workforce reform, IfL is responsible for managing this registration process and for conferring licensed practitioner status.

An independent body, IfL is run by an elected council and works closely with several sector organisations, unions and employer bodies.”


The answer to FE’s problems is not further training for already demoralised, undervalued and underpaid staff but instead an end to this kind of patronising, heavy-handed and ill-judged
initiative which makes all exisiting teachers feel that they may as well not teach at all and just become a robotic, form-filling, surveillance mouth-piece for a few Dimwits in Victoria.

Existing teachers want to teach. Until The Dimwits can prove that there exists any need to retrain someone who has been teaching for year-on-year without a hitch then The Dimwits will be on a hiding to nothing. How do The Dimwits know that current staff need further training? Have they asked them? Where is your proof that you can distinguish between a good and bad teacher? Are you able to sleep at night knowing that you make a normative judgement about the ability of a teacher on a self-justifying and wholly-unscientific process of observation and surveillance? That it isn’t about the relationship built up between staff and student but about the way paperwork is completed and how well the pre-written, questionable and unproven teaching script is adhered to? Ultimately, isn’t this more about trying to justify yourselves to the voters than what impact it will have on Education? Surely FE staff know what they need? These Institute for Losing Teachers reforms are utter rubbish, a complete waste of time and totally unnecessary, very unnecessary. Stop interfering in what you have no idea about, please, especially as NOT ONE SINGLE ONE OF YOU HAS EVER BEEN TO AN FE COLLEGE. YOU ALL WENT TO OXBRIDGE WHICH MEANS NO MATTER HOW HARD YOU TRY YOU ALWAYS BE UNDER THE MISAPPREHENSION THAT YOU ARE CLEVERER THAN EVERYONE ELSE AND NEVER FULLY CONCEDE THAT YOU HAD UNDERSTANDING PARENTS AND WENT TO GOOD SCHOOLS.


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